Time to Upgrade Our Website

Nadia and I have maintained our website at insanityWORKS.org since 2004. It was overhauled once (in 2007) and is past due for another major upgrade.

Moving to a Content Management System

This time, though, the plan is to move it on to a Content Management System (CMS). Much as I love getting down and dirty with HTML code (via Dreamweaver, of course) a CMS-based site will be much faster and significantly easier to maintain. At the very least we won’t be stuck managing it from only those computers that have Dreamweaver installed on them.

The question then becomes: Which CMS do I choose? I’ve been using both proprietary and open source systems since 2001 so I know a lot about a lot of them. That means I can use pretty much any one that’s out there quite effectively; though I do plan to use an open source one for this site.

Fortunately, my choice is limited by the ones that my web hosting provider, E-Starr, provides automatic support for (specifically, installation and upgrade support). I’ve used a bunch of these CMSs in the past, too, so I’m already quite comfortable with most of them.

My Needs Have Changed

What’s also good is that my personal website needs aren’t what they used to be three years ago. For example:

  • A lot of information about me is now available on my Google Profile
  • I now host my photos on Picasaweb (albums) and Flickr (photo stream)
  • I do most of my writing on my blogs (this one and my professional one)
  • I no longer need to maintain a PDF version of my CV for people to download because most of that information is available on my LinkedIn profile
  • A lot of the other content that I host on the site can be moved elsewhere (like Slideshare or Google Docs, for example)

What’s left, then, is mostly text content and a couple of archived websites. Any old CMS can handle the former and latter will remain the way they are so, all told, my CMS requirements are actually quite simple.

So, What Now?

What I think I’ll do now test a bunch of the CMSs available to see which one I like the most. I do have lots of options, including:

  • Drupal
  • Geeklog
  • Joomla 1.5
  • PHP-Nuke
  • phpWCMS
  • phpWebSite
  • Siteframe
  • TYPO3
  • Xoops

Not to mention WordPress, which can be tweaked to make a pretty good CMS itself.

So, if all goes well, I will report back in a few weeks, by which time I hope to have the newest version of insanityWORKS.org up and running.

Wish me luck!